The Goat Criteria—A Structured Assessment Approach for Reference Models

  • Christian JanieschEmail author
  • Axel Winkelmann


Structuring reorganization, implementation, communication or education is a major challenge. Reference models can support all these tasks by providing a generic and customizable yet technology-independent and instantiable structure to organize and further texture future applications. Their benefit is undisputed. Yet, assessing reference models is difficult. We propose the GOAT criteria to assess the perfection of reference models from a more strategic perspective. To illustrate our criteria framework, we assess the reference models Retail-H and Common Data Model (CDM) side by side. The initial results indicate that our criteria can be used to make an initial high-level assessment of reference models for later detailed analyses. In our comparison, the Retail-H performed well in most categories, the CDM excelled in terms of transferability. This came at the price of genericity. While the Retail-H has proved to be durable over 20 years since its inception, the longevity of the Microsoft’s CDM remains to be seen.


GOAT Reference model Structure Organize Texture 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Julius-Maximilians-Universität WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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